Meena Kandasamy

(1984 - / Chennai / India)

Blackboard Poems


S P A C E
is a problem unlike your never-ending
paper or the maddening blankness of
your word processor where you can go on
and on in anguish or insanity or boredom
on one-hundred-and-seven degree Fahrenheit afternoons.
(To write the next lines you need to take
the green&goldbrown duster to rub off these eight)

Colour is another confusion you want
to wish away. At sixteen you wouldn't write
OneSingleWord unless it was forty percent
gray letters on a plum background and your
monitor looked like a high class youknowwho.
The font then was Footlight MT Light, 13 pt.
Now, at twenty one, it is Verdana, eight point.
(I have erased again)

NOTHING SEDUCES LIKE YOUR OWN HANDWRITING.
THE WHITE CHALK DANCING ACROSS GLASS GREEN.
Creepers on W's & R's, hats on S, hearts on I's & J's.

(I have erased again)

I don't grudge the colours too. Instead of two hundred
and fifty six fantasies there is the catholic bridal white.
Sometimes, there is yellow, blue, green, purple, red and
orange and the opportunity of giving them names—

Flaky Fullmoon. Bleached & Faded Captain Haddock Suit.
Temple-tank Algae. Crushed Lilac Under Flashlight.
Sherbet Stain. Sawdust Chillidust Cream.

(I have erased again)

There is considerable exertion (let me hazard a guess:
writing takes two hundred calories per hour, erasing
with the duster five hundred, and walking across must
be say, around eighty) . Then, there is chalk-dust allergy
that compels me to sneeze. And the chemical after-effect
that spoils the moody brown skin of any glowing goddess.

And the unbearable sounds
of chalk squeak...
(I have erased again.
The fifth time now.)

But, a poet loves
writing blackboard poems.
(So easy, to imagine, an audience)
Yet, how much she dreads
Impermanence...

Submitted: Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Edited: Wednesday, June 20, 2012

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